Where to start?
I spent YEARS feeling uncomfortable in my body. Since my early school days I was insecure and felt ‘too fat’ and therefore unworthy. I felt like I didn’t fit in with the popular kids and thought that when I lost weight things would be different. So, I went on numerous diets, I lost lots of weight and afterwards I put all the weight back on again plus more! (Sound familiar?!)
I have a photo of me in my school uniform when I was thin, and I remember thinking that despite being thinner, all my problems were still there. I also remember fainting because I wasn’t eating enough.
I pursued thin-ness for many years, tried various diets, fads and slimming clubs to ‘get fixed’. For years, I was ashamed at my inability to control my eating because once I had stopped yo-yo dieting I just ate. I ate whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted but couldn’t understand why I could only stop eating when the packet was empty. How come my husband could have ‘just a taste’ and I needed the whole packet?!
Then there was the example I was setting for my children….
And that piles on a whole load more guilt doesn't it? We start to worry that we are "passing on bad habits" and when we see our children displaying some of the behaviour that we aren't so chuffed about, then we start to wonder what to do....
The best way to help our children is to sort out our own behaviour first. Your kids can tell if you aren't happy with your body, or if you restrict and then overeat. You may think you are hiding it, but they know on some level.
And we do pass on our unconscious thoughts around food.... we tell children to finish their main course before they can have something sweet, or we don't allow them to have food we deem 'unhealthy', inadvertently setting them up for issues later on.....